A character has to get a driving license or get one renewed.
However, they have a difficult time with a picky driving tester who will not accept any errors and makes the character nervous. As a result, the character fails the test and is despondent. With a pep talk and some tips from friends, the character gets the gumption to retake the test.
Often, during the test, a danger occurs that forces the character to make emergency maneuvers to escape the danger
. The character is successful and the Tester is impressed enough to give bonus points in the evaluation for successfully dealing with a dangerous situation which means the driving test was completed successfully.
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Anime & Manga
- Parodied in Dragon Ball Z, where Goku and Piccolo try to get licenses. Their competitive personalities result in much mayhem.
- Subverted in the You're Under Arrest! manga. Natsumi (an utterly reckless driver) already has a motorcycle license, but not a car license. Upon deciding to obtain one she's eventually required to take a driving test. Her driving is so utterly reckless that the tester passes out almost immediately and doesn't wake up until Natsumi parks back in the lot. She passed.
- The Marvel Adventures version of Spider-Man has to take a driving test in one issue. He does very well - the Spider-Sense apparently does wonders on the road - until a villain attacks, and he has to "panic" to get away so he can put on his suit and fight. Naturally, he fails. In a mild subversion, he doesn't retake and doesn't actually mind all that much (probably because he lives in New York City).
- The 80's movie License to Drive in which Corey Haim has to get his driver's license in order to get into Heather Graham's pants. Hilarity Ensues.
- Happy-Go-Lucky features plenty of driving lessons, but they never get to the test part for... plot-related reasons.
- Terry Pratchett's Pyramids showed the Assassins' Guild School final exam - here "driving" is replaced with "killing someone for money and getting away with it".
- Though in a driving test it isn't rumoured to be an immediate pass to kill the examiner. If you try and fail, there will be a loss of privileges. Breathing to start with.
- Also notable because the protagonist decides to fail, shoots his crossbow wildly, and hits the target. He passes but the examiner criticises the "modern flashy techniques".
- In Fire Season, Stephanie Harrington gets to take her driving test (in this case, in an Aircar). The test has two portions, one using an autopilot assist, and one using manual-only controls, analogous to a 20th century driver having the option to test while Driving Stick. The book's intro has Stephanie's friend Karl letting her surreptuously practice flying his car, and almost plowing into a tree when she gets distracted by something.
Live Action TV
- Subverted in the Married... with Children episode "Driving Mr. Boondy". Al has to take a driving test and discovers that his son, Bud, will be administering the test. Al passes by threatening Bud.
- Same episode, airhead daughter Kelly has no problem passing her test.
- Mama's Family, in the episode "Mama Learns to Drive".
- Drake & Josh
- Spoofed in Malcolm in the Middle when Reese, annoyed that his driving instructor did not give him any time to take his driving test, usurps the driving seat from the other girl so he could at least drive back to the DMV. Suddenly, a lady accidentally bumps into the car. Reese, panicking (thinking he messed up), drives off and eventually gets involved in a low speed chase with several police cars. You have to watch the whole episode just to know how hilarious it is.
- Not to mention that the chase ends when Reese returns to the driving school and completes the course PERFECTLY. He even parallel parks in his time behind the wheel, prompting a cop watching the chase at Malcolm's home to remark "That's impressive!"
- Played painfully straight in Hannah Montana where Miley messes up her test and uses her secret identity to retake it. Naturally she gets caught, spends a night in the slammer and gets humiliated by Robbie Ray to drive the point home.
- Part of the pilot episode plot of $#*! My Dad Says.
- The Big Bang Theory features an episode where Sheldon is forced to get his license because Leonard can't drive him around and no one else will. He manages to annoy the DMV clerk past the point of endurance by analyzing the learner's permit test so much that she gives him his permit without him actually taking the test. Later, he attempts to practice via a realistic simulator rigged up by Howard. It does not go well.
- Partially inverted in the episode "Wheelers and Dealers" of Mash. Potter is send to traffic school, conducted by Rizzo. Rizzo wants to pass Potter without Potter having to do anything, but Potter wants to play it by the book. After initially failing, he just passes the written test, but still needs to do a driving test. Again, Rizzo wants to pass Potter, but Potter insists doing the test. He gets an accident, but Rizzo passes Potter, because of how well he steered around the danger. Potter initially doesn't accept that, but reveals he's open to the rationalization. However, after all that trouble, at the end of the episode Potter is departing to attend a meeting riding his horse, Sophie, instead.
- In an episode of Adam-12, Pete Malloy is forced to let his partner Jim Reed to drive the patrol car when he finds out his licence is expired.
- Sue's efforts to pass her road test and get her license are an ongoing arc in the fourth season of The Middle. Late in the season, in "Hallelujah Hoedown", we learn she's failed it six times and must wait a month before trying again.
- In the inevitable boys-vs-girls driving test episode on The Brady Bunch, Greg and Marcia tie their scores on the combined written and road tests. They have a final drive bet to see who is the better driver. Marcia navigates the course and comes to within an inch and a quarter to a final cone holding a raw egg (as the final test). Greg also makes it through the course but over thinks the ending and guns the car engine at the last minute, breaking the egg. Peter later wants to challenge Jan to a similar contest, but backs out when he see Greg doing Marcia's chores.
- In The Pilot of Doogie Howser, M.D., Doogie is taking his in the Cold Open and becomes first on the scene of a car accident with injuries he spotted several blocks from the test route.
- On The Facts of Life, there was an episode where Tootie was taking her road test. The hilarity comes from the fact that she's taking the test in a hearse (long story).
- On The Dukes of Hazzard, Daisy was competing in the Miss Tri-County contest. One of the events was a car race - but her license had expired. To get a new license, Bo and Luke have to take her to the DMV in the next county. Since leaving Hazzard County is a violation of their probation, they have to drop Daisy and keep driving to stay away from the local sheriff who's chasing them, then pick her up AND get back to Hazzard in time for the race.